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john65pennington's avatar

What do I tell my daughter?

Asked by john65pennington (29176points) October 9th, 2010

My daughter has just given me the biggest compliment of my life. She said, “Dad, I have married and divorced five men. I am still looking for someone, just like you and the marriage you and mom have”. Question: How does a father respond to this kind of statement from his daughter?

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11 Answers

perg's avatar

In a kind way, maybe you should tell her to find a man she can love for himself, not because she thinks he’s like you. That’s a tall order that, ultimately, no man can fulfill.

Aster's avatar

“Thank you, sweetheart, but there isn’t anyone just like me. I know you’ll find a good man someday and you’ll have a happy marriage.
I love you and I’m so happy you’re my daughter.”

john65pennington's avatar

Here is the real problem. have you ever attended five weddings of your daughter. each time, you think, “this is the real one”? her statement just completely floored me. i stood tall, raised my chest and just said “thank you, honey”. i should have said more, but to be honest, the words would just not develope in my brain and leave my mouth. any suggestions are appreciated.

CyanoticWasp's avatar

“Sweetie, you’re on an impossible quest. I’m flattered, as who wouldn’t be, that you hold me in such high esteem. But I’m not a knight in shining armor. In fact, if we had to do it over again, who’s to say that your mother would choose me again, knowing what she knows now? I sure hope so, and I know that if only for the sake of peace in the family she would say so, but… who knows for sure?

“So don’t go looking for an idealized version of me. I think your mother and I did the best we could in raising you and giving you an example of how two people should love and look out for one another and raise a family together, and we’re sure proud of you and the way you turned out. But you have to set your own course and choose your own partner, not go looking for a man who, frankly, doesn’t exist.

“I am honored beyond measure that you think I’m such a paragon, and I do try to be the best I can be, most of the time. But I’m not so special outside of this family; I’m just another guy trying to do what’s right for his family. Guys like that are all around, and even if they’re not ‘just like Dad’, I’m sure you can find one who’s ‘good enough most of the time’ for you. But you can’t look for an idealized version of a person who’s already somewhat idealized to you. The perfect man doesn’t exist. And anyway, he’d be impossible to live with, because then you’d have to be perfect, too. And you’re only perfect to your mom and me.”

john65pennington's avatar

Cyanotic Wasp, i am so impressed with your answer, that with your permission, i want to make a copy of it and memorize each word you have typed. i will be ready to address this with my daughter, the next time i see her. thank you so much. you have made my day. john

Seek's avatar

@CyanoticWasp That made me all misty-eyed.

CyanoticWasp's avatar

Thanks. I’m glad you liked it. I wrote it for you, so you’re welcome to every word. Good luck to her.

john65pennington's avatar

Thank you. u r my hero of the day.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

@CyanoticWasp Here’s another Jelly with misty eyes.

sliceswiththings's avatar

Go with the humorous approach, as others have suggested, “Well that’s a tall order to fill, ” etc. “Why would you want to marry a man who farts when he laughs?” or something.

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

@CyanoticWasp I could not dream of providing an answer better that that!

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